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Hi, my neighbour is on some old tenancy (she's been in the house since the sixties). Her landlord has asked for the keys to the house. She's never been asked for the keys before.

I said that I thought that the landlord was within his rights, but because the tenancy type is not an AST then I thought I'd ask here.

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Hi, my neighbour is on some old tenancy (she's been in the house since the sixties). Her landlord has asked for the keys to the house. She's never been asked for the keys before.

I said that I thought that the landlord was within his rights, but because the tenancy type is not an AST then I thought I'd ask here.

As far as I am aware, the landlord has no right to have the keys. However, it is prudent for a tenant to allow the landlord to have a set of keys in case of emergency, or indeed in the case of a tenant locking themselves out. Just because in theory the landlord may have a physical greater access to the property, they will still leave themselves wide open to legal action should they utilise this access, and so a tenant should not really, IMO, have any objections to a landlord having keys.

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As far as I am aware, the landlord has no right to have the keys. However, it is prudent for a tenant to allow the landlord to have a set of keys in case of emergency, or indeed in the case of a tenant locking themselves out. Just because in theory the landlord may have a physical greater access to the property, they will still leave themselves wide open to legal action should they utilise this access, and so a tenant should not really, IMO, have any objections to a landlord having keys.

As I mentioned elsewhere, there are security problems here -- who else has copies of the keys?

Also, for some of us, there might be issues with the homecontents insurance.

If there is really an emergency, the emergency services usually manage to get in without keys anyway, and a lcoksmith can be hired for a small call-out fee, if there really is an issue with entry at the end of the tenancy.

I think that this is some kind of power issue for some people, but, any smart LL would not really want the keys to his tenant's houses -- what if they get stolen and their tenants burglared? What if their tenant gets burglared by someone who previously lived there and retained a key?

It just is a pointless responsibility one can easily do without.

Cinnamon

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Cinnamon, honestly, second silly post of the evening. Of COURSE most landlords would want a copy of the key. And also equally, the majority of tenants should want their landlords to have a copy. Have you ever called out a locksmith? I can assure you their charge is FAR from small! And the circumstances you have described above....the first one, certainly the landlord would have no responsibility. The second, perhaps, but respectable landlords should change their locks after each tenant anyway.

Just to reiterate my response to your other post: do NOT, repeat do NOT, change your locks unless you have VERY good reason.

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I always change the locks when I rent a property, the only way the landlord can find out is if they try to enter the property and if they do that I know that changing the locks was the right thing to do.

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I always change the locks when I rent a property, the only way the landlord can find out is if they try to enter the property and if they do that I know that changing the locks was the right thing to do.

mr Crunch, my lease/rent contract says I can't change the locksso if I did I'd be in breach of my lease and my older brother( who is a solicitor) has said that if I did shange the lock, the agent or landlord who rents us the house would be able to get a locksmith round,change the lock back and that the cost would be taken from our deposit. He also said that we'd be invoiced for the 'sum total' to make up the security deposit.

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mr Crunch, my lease/rent contract says I can't change the locksso if I did I'd be in breach of my lease and my older brother( who is a solicitor) has said that if I did shange the lock, the agent or landlord who rents us the house would be able to get a locksmith round,change the lock back and that the cost would be taken from our deposit. He also said that we'd be invoiced for the 'sum total' to make up the security deposit.

The landlord could only know if he tried to enter without permission, which would be a reasonable reason for me to change the locks and difficult for the landlord to explain to the judge when I take the landlord to court for harassment / interference.

You need a different solicitor ;)

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The landlord could only know if he tried to enter without permission, which would be a reasonable reason for me to change the locks and difficult for the landlord to explain to the judge when I take the landlord to court for harassment / interference.

You need a different solicitor ;)

mr c, i'm not going to get into any tit-for-tat stupid debate with you over this as it's actually no help to the original posters question, but;

If you are renting from a decent agent with a well worded/usual AST Your landlord/their agent has every right to write to you giving notice of an inspection of the property (for a survey/ insurance purposes/ to carry out annual gas safety test etc) if upon trying to gain lawful entry he/they find out you've changed the lock, you'd be deemed to be in breach of the lease. The landlord would be acting lawfully to re-instate the lock/put a new lock in(giving you adequate copies of any new keys) and subtract the cost of this from your deposit. They would also be at liberty to invoice you for the said amount in order to make up the deficit in your security deposit. This has been tested in the courts and I don't need a new solicitor, thanks :P

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Totally agree with flat-erica on this one. Not only does the landlord have right of access if he gives you 48 hours notice in writing which you do not explicitly refuse(which you would deny him if you have changed the locks), there are several emergency reasons why they need a key. Do what you want, but you will be liable for costs, as f-e says. Basically: good landlord, will not break law by entering. Bad landlord: may do. In which case you need not change your locks, but change your landlord!

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Cinnamon, honestly, second silly post of the evening. Of COURSE most landlords would want a copy of the key. And also equally, the majority of tenants should want their landlords to have a copy. Have you ever called out a locksmith? I can assure you their charge is FAR from small! And the circumstances you have described above....the first one, certainly the landlord would have no responsibility. The second, perhaps, but respectable landlords should change their locks after each tenant anyway.

Just to reiterate my response to your other post: do NOT, repeat do NOT, change your locks unless you have VERY good reason.

I have very good reasons, and it is not a silly post. I do not regard £100 pounds callout charge for a locksmith as expensive if my security is at stake. Suppose I keep (say) expensive musical instruments in my house? Have you ever tried to insure anything that is actually worth something? :)

And, as you admit, in both situation, I have no redress against a negligent landlord, so, why should I risk the entire situation in the first place?

The entire point is moot anyhow, it is illegal for the landlord to enter the premises without my permission, hence, he has no need for a key, ever.

I also wonder why someone would want keys to my house, without good reason -- a visit can of course always be arranged, so where is the problem?

Cinnamon

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The entire point is moot anyhow, it is illegal for the landlord to enter the premises without my permission, hence, he has no need for a key, ever.

Woohoo another silly post! Incorrect. If a landlord gives you 48 hours written notice to enter the property, he does not need your permission. You can explicitly refuse the access, but he does not need your permission. And, he does not need your permission to enter in the case of an emergency.

I can, in all honesty, understand your opinion. But the reasons against it are massive, and are more detailed on the thread containing your other post. It is more an emotional than rational opinion, like "an Englishman's home is his castle" kinda response.

Edited by MrShed

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mr c, i'm not going to get into any tit-for-tat stupid debate with you over this as it's actually no help to the original posters question, but;

If you are renting from a decent agent with a well worded/usual AST Your landlord/their agent has every right to write to you giving notice of an inspection of the property (for a survey/ insurance purposes/ to carry out annual gas safety test etc) if upon trying to gain lawful entry he/they find out you've changed the lock, you'd be deemed to be in breach of the lease. The landlord would be acting lawfully to re-instate the lock/put a new lock in(giving you adequate copies of any new keys) and subtract the cost of this from your deposit. They would also be at liberty to invoice you for the said amount in order to make up the deficit in your security deposit. This has been tested in the courts and I don't need a new solicitor, thanks :P

Why upset your customer by being so difficult? It is common courtesy to make an appointment on the phone(and it is easier too!) and to arrange for a mutual convenient time, when the tenant is available. And normal visitors use the doorbell, letting yourself in with a key into someone else's home is just very rude.

Walking in on people, even if you gave notice in writing is also quite dangerous -- what if they have a guest in the house who has no idea who you are and thinks you're about to rob them[1]? Or, your tentant's wife is having nookie with the milkman? Say your letter got lost in the post or the appointment forgotten and no-one was expecting you -- it can easily happen.

Cinnamon

[1] What if the person cannot speak English either?

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OK but cinnamon apart from anything else you are now arguing against the actual law(landlords right to access with written notice), when your initial argument was you did it to prevent a breach in the law.

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Woohoo another silly post! Incorrect. If a landlord gives you 48 hours written notice to enter the property, he does not need your permission. You can explicitly refuse the access, but he does not need your permission. And, he does not need your permission to enter in the case of an emergency.

I can, in all honesty, understand your opinion. But the reasons against it are massive, and are more detailed on the thread containing your other post. It is more an emotional than rational opinion, like "an Englishman's home is his castle" kinda response.

Read my post above for the very good reasons as why not to act like an unmannered oaf.

Moreover, you are misunderstanding the law:

Landlords right of entry

If you are a tenant, your landlord cannot enter your home without your permission unless it is an emergency. If your landlord wants to inspect the property for disrepair, they should give you at least 24 hours notice in writing before they carry it out.

source: http://www.lbwf.gov.uk/index/housing/housi...air-private.htm

Notice in writing does not mean you have permission, you still have to obtain it.

Cinnamon

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Within 24 hours the landlord must seek your EXPLICIT permission to enter the property. More than 24 hours, the tenant must EXPLICITLY deny access to the property. This is the law, and has been tried and tested in the courts, which is where it matters at the end of the day.

And yes you are right, I apologise for the tone of my previous posts.

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mr c, i'm not going to get into any tit-for-tat stupid debate with you over this as it's actually no help to the original posters question, but;

If you are renting from a decent agent with a well worded/usual AST Your landlord/their agent has every right to write to you giving notice of an inspection of the property (for a survey/ insurance purposes/ to carry out annual gas safety test etc) if upon trying to gain lawful entry he/they find out you've changed the lock, you'd be deemed to be in breach of the lease. The landlord would be acting lawfully to re-instate the lock/put a new lock in(giving you adequate copies of any new keys) and subtract the cost of this from your deposit. They would also be at liberty to invoice you for the said amount in order to make up the deficit in your security deposit. This has been tested in the courts and I don't need a new solicitor, thanks :P

No!

Tessa Shepperson of landlordlaw.com (specialist lawyer)

What should the landlord do if the tenant refuses to grant access for inspections?

"If this happens landlord should try to talk to the tenant to find out what the problem is. He should explain that the inspections are for the tenant's benefit to check the condition of the property so any necessary repairs can be done, or to carry out the annual gas check. If the tenant still refuses to allow the landlord access, the landlord will have to abide by this. It is important that the landlord does not just use his keys to gain access when the tenant is out. This will be deemed harassment and is a criminal offence.

So far as the gas regulations are concerned, non compliance with these is normally a criminal offence, however the landlord will not be prosecuted if he has made reasonable attempts to get the annual check done. To protect his position though, it is a good idea for the landlord to contact the local Health and Safety Executive (who police the regulations) and inform them of the situation.

So far as the landlords general repairing covenants are concerned, the landlord cannot be held liable for breach of these, if he has not been allowed access by the tenant to carry out an inspection and do repairs. However the landlord will want to carry out regular inspections as he will not want his property, which is a substantial financial investment, to deteriorate. In these circumstances he should therefore consider taking steps to evict the tenant, and should take legal advice regarding this if necessary."

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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